The Role of Emotion in the Development of Child Psychopathology: A Commentary on Zahn-Waxier

Nazan Aksan, Kathryn S. Lemery

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter provides a commentary on Carolyn Zahn-Waxler's ideas on developmental psychopathology presented in the previous section. The chapter explores the implications of these theoretical and empirical studies on the linkage between psychopathology and emotion through an analysis of the framework used by Zahn-Waxler to examine the role of emotion in normative and nonnormative developmental phenomena. This is followed by a clarification on the concept of emotional dysregulation and an illustration of how this fails in linking emotion and pathology on several key areas. The issues identified in the temperament domain-stability and physiology-are explored while another section presents various methods to utilize the ideas gleaned from this domain to reduce reliance on flawed exploratory constructs such as the previously discussed dysregulation. The final section discusses several vital issues regarding emotion-related processes which have been neglected by existing research on the mechanisms of transmission of parental psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnxiety, Depression, and Emotion
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199847310
ISBN (Print)9780195133585
StatePublished - Mar 22 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Carolyn Zahn-Waxler
  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Emotion
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Parental psychopathology
  • Temperament domain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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